I read a blog about multiculturalism and its comments. What can I say? I am a so-called “˜American’. That is, I came from America, or the US, to be more precise. Therefore, I am an immigrant in Great Britain. I came here legally, through marriage to a real British citizen. By “˜real’, I mean multi-generation, “˜pure’, whatever. I find the comments about multiculturalism very interesting.
I have noticed the many different cultural, ethnic and religious groups in this country. I have heard all the complaints, all the policies, all the rhetoric. As an outsider, I feel for the native Brits. Exposure to multiculturalism is great, but continual force-feeding of tolerance at the expense of freedom can become nauseating.
Americans have a difficult time dealing with immigrants, legal or not. Yes, we commiserate on the fact that they take over the low-paying jobs and also that they claim welfare benefits. But, one of the biggest complaints was that many of these immigrants could not speak the language. All right, if you just came, we understand. Let’s get you some English classes. But, no, many of these people have lived in the US for years and still could not speak a word. They have kids who were sent to school and some used them to interpret for them. However, for the most part, translators had to be called in. Because the Latin-American population in the US has become so great, Spanish has become a legal second language in some states.
I am not a true “˜American’. I was not born there. Yes, I was an immigrant. When we came to the US, we were supported by a local group, who got us some benefits. I will not deny that we had benefits, as some people would like to deny that they had any help when they review their journey with rose-coloured glasses. But those benefits did not last long. My father did manual labour on a farm and gradually moved on from one thing to another. After a maternity leave, my mother also joined the work force and within a couple years, they were off welfare. Back then, they would have even known how to cheat the welfare system. However, as we watched other immigrants arrive, we saw how they were cheating the system and it made us angry. They liked to go around, showing off their cars, clothes, houses, etc., and laughing at us because we did not get as far travelling the straight and narrow path. It also made us angry that these same people, who embraced the new American freedoms, did not embrace their culture (except for the capitalistic gains). They frowned on many of the early immigrants, who lost a lot of their old culture, including the language. There was not just hate between the immigrants and the natives. There was hate between the immigrants.
Though America is willing to allow foreigners in, there is stress on assimilation. They expect that you adopt their ways and eventually become Americans. Yes, that includes the flag-waving. But, a lot of immigrants found that as long as you studied for the citizenship test, you’d pass and all was hunky-dory. Some couldn’t speak a word of English when it came to conversation, they just memorised the answers. Many immigrant groups migrate towards their own culture. You find pockets of different ethnic groups in different areas. You move to a new town and you instantly know where the Asians, the Mexicans, the Blacks, the Whites, the Middle Easterners are.
From the comments I read, there seem to be similar problems in the UK. Pockets of different minority groups exist in this country. Many of them can’t speak the language or understand the culture of the new country which they live in. Some don’t seem to care. Yet, what they say and do are of the utmost importance to the politicians, who are too afraid of not being PC. The Americans are trying a new approach by enforcing tolerance, though they don’t take it as far as the British. From the comments from some British, I think that the British might like to borrow the American’s assimilation policy.
I’m not saying all immigrants are a problem. That’s obviously not the case. But even the immigrants, as I am, can see that there is a problem. For the most part, it seems that there is agreement that immigrants are welcome as long as they contribute to society rather than living off of it. Also, there is tacit agreement that they should be expected to learn about their new home, rather than vice versa. Not to say we shouldn’t know something about their culture. It just shouldn’t be at the forefront of our educational agenda. It should be an aside. Same with religion. This is a Christian country. Why suppress Christianity for the sake of the Muslims? I don’t say Jewish or Hindu or other religions because it seems the Muslims are the ones making the most issue.
Many native Brits are afraid of saying anything because of the fear of being branded a racist. This has been the case for the BNP members. Just because they are pro-British does not make them racist. (It is similar to the analogy of the pro-Choice member being pro-abortion. Just because that person believes it’s a woman’s choice does not mean that person believes abortion is the answer.) I am not a member, but I understand their position. After all, I am pro-British, but obviously, I am not of their race. I have nothing against my race or any others as long as they do not impose their beliefs on mine. It is simply that I have chosen to live here and would like to see Britain remain Britain.
As for the native Brits who are no better than foreigners who are sponging on society, it is not for me to judge. This is their country. Other native Brits can gripe about them. I’m not here to kick out the native. I came here to learn about British culture, not change it. Unfortunately, it is already changing with the change in population. Already, many things British are about to be forgotten. Natives who don’t care will wake up one day to find their country taken away from them.